Monday, January 5, 2009

No on Prop 8 -> Vote for Equality

So during the holiday break, staff and volunteers who worked on the No on Prop 8 campaign have been meeting to determine next steps for pushing our agenda forward. The group name has changed to Vote for Equality, as Prop 8 is said and done.

Although Proposition 8 passed, it did so by about 600,000 votes - a huge improvement over the margin for Prop 22 a few years back. We want to keep the momentum going. We want to show folks that LGBT folks are still here and put a face to the cause. We want to have conversations with people who voted Yes - we want to listen to them and share our stories/views to achieve our ultimate goal - changing hearts and minds.

We spent the first meeting dissecting the shortcomings of the No on Prop 8 campaign - not grassroots enough, didn't make inroads into communities of color, didn't spend enough time in unsupportive areas, didn't allow individuals to tell their stories, limited avenues for volunteering, etc.

The next step was figuring out what we're going to do next. The decision was made to do canvassing and phone banking . I've signed up for the canvassing team because I think it is important to have face-to-face conversations with folks. We will start out in swing precincts and eventually travel to less supportive areas. We'll do a pilot run Jan 17 and then recruit volunteers (expect some phone calls/emails!) for a Feb 14 Valentine's Day canvass.

One team is working on turf cutting for the walks and figuring out logistics. I'm on the team that will be crafting the messaging and data coding. This is proving to be more challenging than I had anticipated. Because we don't have a specific goal in mind (votes on a particular proposition or initiative), what will be the measure of our success? How do you walk the fine line between listening/acknowledging people's views with respect and advancing our agenda of progressiveness? How do you address some of the issues non-supporters might have (don't want children taught about same-sex marriage in school, marriage has always been between one man and one woman, domestic partnerships are enough, etc.)? We talked about a lot of this stuff at our last meeting on Saturday and tonight we're actually going to work on a script. I'm supposed to be drafting a response to the argument that Californians have voted on this issue twice already - why can't we accept the rule of the people?

If you have any thoughts that you'd like me to bring to the table, I'd be happy to hear them!


A Feminist Gold Digger said...

This is great to hear. A similar group in OC has also formed, which the hubs and I are a part of - OCEC (OC Equality Coalition). Keep up the great work!!!

WeezerMonkey said...

Re "the rule of the people," I suggest finding an old historical issue that had majority support and was later overwhelmingly overturned.

You know what to say! :)